The simple beauty of cleansing – look, remember, let go, delete

Today I went through my almost 1000 photos on my phone and deleted them.

There was a few months worth and I journeyed through love, loss, hope, joy, fun, anger, frustration, Jessica Capshaw, sharing, spirit, my daughter, lo…wait what? Jessica Capshaw!?

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Apparently I have a bit of a crush on that particular blonde hottie!

But it was an interesting exercise, and I had done it several months ago but there was a point I couldn’t go beyond then. This time, that point and everything after it has gone.

I kept a few of the more meaningful quotes I’ve collected along the way. The ones that still resonate when I read them now.

Some were too painful to keep.

The photos of my time were either good times with my daughter (don’t worry, I’ve backed them all up so they aren’t lost) or the not so good times of splitting up a household.

Still, they are all part of my life’s experience this year.

And so out of approximately 950 photos, I deleted 868 of them. I’ve lightened my phone. I’ve lightened the history and now there is room for new experiences, new moments, new inspiration.

New roads to photograph and memorise.

If you haven’t done so recently, I recommend taking half an hour and backing them all up, then going through and deleting them. Yes, you could do that automatically if you want, but there is something about travelling through the past, remembering it fondly (or not) for a moment, then electing to whisk it away.

Cleanse your phone, cleanse yourself.

Let the new come in!

And just for fun, here are a couple of the ones I kept!

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Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring
A person

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Also, this is the last post under the NaBloPoMo tag. I’m so glad I undertook this challenge and I hope to continue writing daily. Hopefully you’ll continue to read!

New roads and butterflies

I wanted to share this beautiful new road I walked down today.

As I walked it I noticed many things.

How beautiful fallen branches look.

How hot it was and how lovely the shade was.

That there was an eagle soaring in the sky – just stunning!

There were so many butterflies! Butterflies everywhere fluttering around me.

I felt very blessed.

And I felt that this was very much what I was doing now – walking a new road. Enjoying experiencing new things, places and people.

Nothing invalidates the experiences I’ve had this year but I’m looking forward to a fresh start.

Soon after I got home a big thunderstorm came over and pelted rain and hail. Washed everything clean.

And to Taylor Swift I thank for the lyrics:

Rain came pouring down when I was drowning
That’s when I could finally breathe
And by morning gone was any trace of you
I think I am finally free

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The infusion of beauty makes the pain of loss more bearable. It’s not that I’ve forgotten the love or the pain of lost love, or even that I want to. It’s just that the beauty reminds me of all the good feelings and that makes me feel grateful and loving again.

I don’t hate anyone who scarred my heart this year.

And that makes me feel wonderful.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring
A person

Totally fangirling over the entire show – How To Get Away With Murder

OK, so if you have not been watching How To Get Away With Murder, then what have you been doing?

For a starters, it’s awesomely tricky and smart. A great legal drama that has you on the edge of your seat every episode.

Wound around the courtroom is the mystery of who killed Sam, the husband of the head legal eagle, Annalise Keating, and did HE kill Lila Stangard, a young student at Middleton University.

Twists upon twists.

Also, the ensemble cast is cracking in all the right directions. Viola Davis is totally amazing as Annalise – she kills it every episode and is raw, edgy and quite frankly, totally sexy.

The rest of the cast is multi-racial and intensely talented, as they navigate their way through the maze of covering up Sam’s murder while trying to get drug dealer Rebecca off Lila’s murder charge, which she is co accused with Griffin, Lila’s boyfriend.

I do call out specifically the multi-racial cast. It is a feature of the shows produced by Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers, who also produce medical Grey’s Anatomy and political drama Scandal. Also a feature is strong, intelligent female leads within the ensemble casts.

I have yet to watch Scandal although I’ve seen many people impressed by it. Grey’s Anatomy is a favourite of mine but How To Get Away With Murder is much edgier and darker. The writers on these shows are amazing, I’m in awe!

Also to be noted is the inclusion of gays and lesbians on all the shows, both as reoccurring and episodic characters. The ease at which these characters are inserted and nurtured is a testament to Rhimes and Beers. There are any number of other shows that could easily incorporate gay characters but don’t, or have multi-racial main characters, but don’t (I’m talking about you, Once Upon A Time).

Anyway, I’m getting off-track.

HTGAWM is addictive, sexy (including gay male sexy) and clever. You can both laugh and be horrified in the same episode.

Go watch it. All of it.

Now!

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring
A person

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Second chances and magic mushrooms

I haven’t been reading much lately.

Partly it’s timing. Partly it’s being busy. Mostly it’s because I play a lot on social media.

So due to a few factors, mostly the lack of data at my new place right now, I read a book.

I buy books all the time. This particular book is one of my latest purchases from The Book Depository website. Looking for Christmas presents, I spotted a couple of books that piqued my interest.

One included a graphic novel by Byran Lee O’Malley called Seconds. I couldn’t see the cover because of browser issues however the premise sounded intriguing enough for me to spend my bucks and wait for it to arrive.

It’s about a chef called Katie whose good life goes a little awry and she needed a second chance. That’s where a mysterious girl appears in the middle of the night with instructions for said second chance –

  1. Write your mistake
  2. Ingest one mushroom
  3. Go to sleep
  4. Wake anew

So of course that’s just what Katie does, discovers the addictive desire to make things perfect and suffers the consequences.

I won’t spoil the story – the book is a quick and uncomplicated read – but it’s great story for the lesson it teaches:

People make mistakes and there is no way to go back and change it without affecting other outcomes. So in the end, you need to accept that you stuffed up, make the amends you need to and move on.

I thought it was interesting that the book arrived at the beginning of this week when I had picked it for no real reason a couple of weeks ago.

I’m all for recognising messages from the Universe.

And I relate to this story because there is no perfect life.

There are mistakes and dealing with the consequences. But also, there is recognising that my life is actually very good most of the time, just like Katie’s, but that you can focus on a couple of things going wrong and derail everything trying to just make those things right.

In the end (just like in the book) things will work out as they were meant to. Even if they don’t work out exactly as you pictured.

In fact, it’s a well worn cliché to say that things often end up far better than you could have ever imagined.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring
A person

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Heart and ego – the pendulum swing

Two days ago I was grieving, incredibly sad, crying or on the verge of tears all day.

Yesterday I felt like a superhero, unbeatable, strong, and positive.

Today I feel like a peacekeeper between two warring parties, constantly on guard, tending to one and then the other, over and over again.

My heart, tender and raw, longing to believe the good, longing just to give love.

To my heart, I gently had to remind it that the love was over now, that there would be love again, but for now, to just rest. For now, just to help me love myself.

My ego, wanting to serve up stinging words of rebuke, of anger and of painful, hurtful intensity.

To my ego, I had to calm it down, I had to acknowledge that yes, it was entirely right in what it was saying but that the fight was done. There is no person to fight about, they are gone. Time to stand down.

So the pendulum swung between the two all day, and I in the middle, tending this way like a mother with a child, tending that way, like a police negotiator.

I know that both my heart and my ego will soon calm down, and the benefit of the recovery is that I’m aware of this, and I’m working on it. I’m conscious of my emotions and although it doesn’t mean I don’t have them, I’m working hard to not let them control me.

Today I’m exhausted.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring
A person

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The life lesson was revealed – and it was not a person for life.

Wow, I feel amazing! I feel like a new person.

I feel like tweeting ‘Throwback to last Thursday when I was a completely different person!’

This is for two reasons.

  1. I now have direction and a way forward – there was a question of which way to go.
  2. The way I handled my emotions and got back together took only a bit more than an hour, in the middle of the night.

The answer to that question was a revelation of, unfortunately and sadly, lies, manipulation and cheating, but the way I managed to redirect my emotions was the real revelation for me.

Previous iterations of me would have stayed up stewing, angry, hurt, crying, beating myself up, feeling shame, embarrassment, extreme anger. Then probably would have been doing that on and off for days. There would be anger towards the other person, but most of it would be directed at myself.

However last night something happened…

To be honest, I did do a bit of that for about an hour or so. I did.

I was hurt and angry at this person betraying my trust again. I reacted straight away, despite it being 2amish and answered the third (I know right, she did it to me THREE fucking times by text to wake up to!) text telling me we were done because she was back with her ex-boyfriend, who she’d been seeing for the last two weeks.

To be fair, we weren’t together this time. Let’s be clear on that.

At the same time though, she led me on, telling me she missed me, telling me she loved me so much, telling me she thought about me often, that she was still in love with me since the previous split. She didn’t have to tell me those things. I asked a question, she answered but she choose to answer in that way.

So it was fairly reasonable of me to believe we may get back together at some point.

However, it seems that all of those things were lies. It seems she just strung me along and that those things were not true.

I did beat myself up for believing in her, in what she said, for a bit. Like I said, it was 2amish and by about 3.30amish I was still tossing and turning.

Then I suddenly thought, what if instead of looking at anger at how she has behaved, why don’t I look with love at my actions?

And when I did, I realised that:

  • I did not ever lie to her
  • I did not cheat on her
  • I never manipulated her
  • My heart and intentions were true and
  • all those things were what SHE did.

That those things were not actually a bad reflection on me. That I was open, trusting and loving to her was not something to be ashamed of, or beat myself up over.

That her actions were a reflection on HER.

Now you may say, ‘well yes person that is a no brainer’, but answer this…

Last time someone duped you, lied to you or pissed you off for whatever reason, was there not some part of you that was angry at YOURSELF that it was done to you?

Was there not the question ‘why didn’t I listen to that little voice that told me not to trust them?’

I’ll be happy to see how many of you comment that you are so aligned with yourself that you can instantly see someone else’s behaviour is just that, THEIR behaviour. And that it’s not your fault because you trusted them that they hurt you or betrayed you. (Well hello, Dali Llama!)

Because for someone who is trying to be conscious about these things, it’s an automatic response for me to start beating myself up for being such a fool.

But actually, I’m not a fool.

It’s true, I did ignore the little voice that was telling me X did not equal Y in her stories. Or that if she wouldn’t tell her best friends or exes about me, that perhaps there was something fishy going on. (And yes, she was a real person, not a 53 year old man in his underwear!)

Once I actually looked at myself with love, I went to sleep. When I woke up, I was not angry or upset. I was a little more hyper than usual and I spoke to some other long distance friends about it – those that had been following the saga.

But I was not upset. I felt good. I felt strong. I felt positive!

So now ace of clubs, your final hand has been dealt.

And I’m not going to pretend this is the last time I’m ever going to think of you, because it may not be.

But today I felt like I had just come out of a red hot forge, superheated and strong. Beaten into shape, melted and recast.

I felt strong. I felt strong because I stayed open when I could have been closed. I could not believe the difference in how I have previously reacted. Even just a few months ago I was emotional for a week. But not this time.

I remembered something from Iyanla Vanzant which was about radical forgiveness, by actively loving the person who has hurt you. It means you have control of the relationship. That the love directs it, not the anger. As she said, ‘I’m not going to invite them to Thanksgiving dinner!’ but she could choose (in this case her husband and best friend who ran off together K) to appreciate them for the impact on her life.

Well I’ll take the lessons and my love and the ace of clubs can stay here, locked in time in 2014 and no longer able to hurt me.

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I look forward to the next heart adventure time with someone (hopefully a little closer to home!) but I’m quite happy to see out this year feeling strong, and being by myself.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring
A person

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Love again, what else?

When love it not enough to keep you together.

When the judgment is that it is not worth the fight to keep going on.

When it hurts everybody because no one wants it to end but only one of you has been fighting for it to survive.

I have experienced both sides and they both suck big balls of lava hellfire.

So I totally get why Callie (Grey’s Anatomy) said enough. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t keep fighting. I love you and I know you love me but it’s not enough.

And you can’t force someone to accept your love either.

If they don’t think they can handle it. If they don’t believe they deserve to be happy in love, there is not much you can do to convince them.

All in all it’s very sad but what can you do?

Only wish each other well and move on, as hard as that might be for everyone.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring
A person

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Procrastination and the stuff that stops you

So in all this moving and packing and cleaning and blogging I have not been doing my other writing.

I think also it is a bit of a procrastination point because I’ve plotted out the script and seem to be at the part where I start to write the treatment for the film. Then someone will look at it for me and judge it.

Scary.

Not sure what is scarier. Me actually doing it or someone judging it. Not that I don’t trust the judge. She is a writer and an ex-boss and a good friend. I trust her judgement and what she says I will respect.

So I think it is more about getting it done. Because once it’s done, then I’ll have to write the script.

And once I write the script I’ll have to present it to someone for judging again – maybe rewriting or maybe for a producer or maybe for a grant panel.

The dream will be coming close to reality at that point and my gosh, I might have stuff that thinks ‘that’s impossible! You can’t do that, you can’t achieve it that quickly and easily! This stuff has to be hard. Make it hard!’

That’s what stuff does. It derails you. It makes things harder than they should be. It stops you from getting things, achieving things because it brings up all the reasons why you just aren’t good enough.

But I am good enough and so are you.

Observe the stuff, hear what it says but don’t let it derail you.

There is a saying in creative circles that goes something like:

This is great!
This is OK…
This is totally shit.
This might be OK…
This is great!

You have to push through the middle bit full of doubt and self-loathing and get to believing that it’s great again.

And another from Ray Bradbury,

‘Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It is self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.’

So I need to start doing again and stop thinking about it.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring
A person

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If you haven’t seen these films, what the hell are you doing?

Had a good idea for a blog. Now I’ve forgotten it.

So I’ll write about how good the kids movies are this year.

  • Maleficent.
  • The Lego Movie.
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy.

All have humour and heart. I’ve seen all of them more than once.

Maleficent is just magnificent. Angelina Jolie is too good as the lead character and the beauty, not just physical, that she brings to the pain of Maleficent is so amazing. Lots of talk has been had about how she portrayed the loss of her wings, stolen by Stefan and representing a date rape. It gives me chills. Elle Fanning is lovely as the young Aurora. The only quibble I have is Stefan’s voice…gosh it grates on me! But the beautiful way the movie progresses and moves Maleficent to love is both poignant and funny. The three fairies that care (loosely used word) for Aurora during her childhood provide many comic moments.

The Lego Movie is just full of crack ups! The big stars that played the voices clearly had a wonderful time and the movie never takes itself too seriously, while having plenty of heart and lessons about being special for the younger kids. Quite frankly I could watch this film again and again, there are so many one liners! The story of Emmett the ordinary Lego man, who ends up becoming ‘the special’ from a made up prophesy and his adventure with Wildfire is too funny as they try to avoid President Business’s (Will Ferrell) Bad Cop (Liam Neeson). Wildfire’s boyfriend is Batman. Do I need to add more?

The Guardians of the Galaxy is based on a Marvel comic book, so you figure it is going to be campy with silly humour and it totally fits that bill. I’m surprised Nathon Fillion isn’t in this to be honest! Peter Quill/Starlord and Gamora get arrested along with Groot and Rocket (bounty hunters) while trying to sell the orb he’s ‘found’. The animated characters are the perfect comedy duo and Rocket has more one liners than we deserve! Groot in fact is the heart of the movie and caused me to cry real tears in the movie theatre. Not a frequent occurrence I have to say. Teamed up with a kick ass 70s sound track, GotG rocks along through its set pieces and I defy you not to find it amusing as they all camp it up trying to stop baddy Ronan from getting their prize – a too powerful stone that destroys all who touch it.

Normally this is not a film review site but I’ve enjoyed these movies immensely this year. They have offered me laughs when I needed them and multiple ones at that. I highly recommend if you haven’t seen any or all of these that you (legally) get your hands on a copy and watch. I dare you to only want to watch them all once!

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring
A person

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